The Royal Voluntary Service has opened a hospital shop with a difference – a “dietary specific shop” under the brand name Revitalise.
RVS, which operates hospital shops across Britain, says it wants to embrace the healthy eating agenda but “with a new edge”.
The new store, located within Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital, stocks brands and product that would be very familiar to health store-owners. Meanwhile, clean white lines and fashionable mood lighting create a contemporary but welcoming look (The Times has dubbed the new shop a “health food boutique”).
RVS says product selection for the new store is based on a general commitment to selling “healthier products that meet strict nutritional criteria” but also helping people meet particular dietary needs. A bright, colour-coded scheme flags up a range of attributes such vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free, and allows for easy store navigation.
The Revitalise shop launch follows research into the dietary habits of hospital staff in Scotland. The findings show that despite advocating a 5-a-day diet, two fifths of NHS doctors and nurses (41 per cent) eat one or no pieces of fresh fruit or vegetables during a typical working day with 29 per cent eating just one piece. Fourteen per cent of all Scottish nursing staff admit they have a poor diet.
More encouragingly, the research shows a desire by hospital staff to improve their eating habits. Three quarters (74 per cent) of Scottish hospital doctors and nurses said that they would like to see healthier options introduced into the hospital setting where they work, with 63 per cent saying healthier food choices in hospitals would improve their diet.